The Demimonde of the Super-Entitled: How Online ‘Critics’ Have Destroyed Fine Dining

| April 29, 2012


Douchebags on Yelp

(Image: Christopher Zara for Glittersnipe)

Since we had to wait ten minutes for our table, I thought you might want to give us something for free. Ha, I reckon it doesn’t hurt to ask, huh?”

Yes. It does. From youngish Yelp-ers convinced that a yap and a laptop are the sole requisites for being a food critic to kvetching cane-bangers, self-entitlement and depravity have dredged to an all-time low in the higher ends of the restaurant world.

It’s no longer enough to be just a place to dine anymore: restaurants are now expected to provide a bevy of bifocals to patrons glaring askance when their prescriptions cannot be promptly procured (“Then you’ll just have to read the entire menu to me!”), as well as iPhone chargers, laptop connections, “just a little extra steak for our fondue,” and even heartsick pleas for black napkins (“I might get white lint on me! My God, there’s a white tablecloth here!”).

Such are the pseudo-hardships for diners who rush home to pepper their online critiques with the breezily banal (“Soooo yummy! LOL!”), to the curious (“The manager was too Italian.”), to the cruel (“…our waitress had breasts like dirty tennis balls.”), to tales of soul-numbing humiliation for having to actually speak (“We had to ask for more bread! Imagine!”).

Bringing your own food to restaurants and expecting it to be served to you free of charge has become increasingly commonplace — from Snapple iced teas, to pasta (“Just throw some red sauce on it.”), to Carvel sheet cakes, to Starbucks, to the most flagrant offender of all: cupcakes.

We now live in a time when tiny cakes with dildos atop them aren’t just being passed around under plastic brass chandeliers in trailer parks; finer restaurants are now expected to serve these cock-topped confections to belligerent bachelorettes. Frequently, when refused, the girls-night-outers hobble like deer running on thumbtacks to the ladies’ room, scarf down a fistful of powdery cake, who then with icing-covered acrylic nails, clack out a rant on their Blackberrys.

From the veiled to blatant threats of posting an online review (“By God, you’d better watch out! I’m a member of Zagat!”) to screaming mothers gesticulating with full diapers in their hands that someone needs to “Go get Britney!,” the rise of dining-room barbarism has ballooned beyond belief. By the way, if you were wondering what the membership requirements are to become a Zagat voter, I’ll tell you: Fingers.

So, what happened? Simply put, it’s the Internet. Sites like Yelp, OpenTable, UrbanSpoon, et al have given voice to those who should have remained mute. People with passwords have now turned the dining rooms of New York’s best eateries into little more than playgrounds for bullying bogus gourmands.

Consider these tales as food for thought when soliciting strangers’ advice on where to dine: There’s a good chance that the last review you clicked on was written on the toilet by a piss-drunk partier with a gobful of jellybean-crusted cupcake.

And don’t just take what they say with a grain of salt — take the entire bag and beat the living hell out of them with it.

(*All Quotations Are Authentic.)



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Category: Consume

Comments (5)

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    I’m sorry but if the maitre d or the hostess in the sample sale Michael Kors
    can’t spot the tourist by their in hand Big Gulps and Playbill’s marked
    “Mama Mia”, then they deserve to be harangued by patrons yelping about the
    waiter serving Heinz in a ramekin instead of a plastic squeeze bottle for their Prime Hanger Steak. The busboy can help earn his 10% by informing
    them that TGI FRIDAYS is only 4 blocks away. Better still, for the
    Blackberry clacking, image obsessed Patrick Bateman wannabes, have
    the one straight bartender, waiting for a call back tell them that
    Hooters is up the block. They won’t be able to order a Waldorf salad for
    sure, but they’ll for sure be able to have some siliconed babe in a tank
    top order a room at the Waldorf.

  2. Buck says:

    “So what happened?” you ask… I think a large part of the problem is poor parenting. Back in the day there was the occasional impolite customer, someone whom the staff would murmur under their breath “where was he/she raised? In a barn?” The lack of manners, this sense of entitlement that has leeched into every facet of urban social life is pervasive now. And I blame the parents. Parents who indulge their kids “raise” (if that’s the word for these mushy-brained adults) people who now expect the world to pick up after them. Well, I for one refuse. You need an iPhone charger in a restaurant? How about turning off your g-d phone long enough to have a civilized conversation with your dinner party? You want some extra bread without having to ask for it? How about pacing yourself instead of grazing like the fat cow you are at the local all-you-can-eatery? Give me a break…

  3. Cameron says:

    Ah, the tireless schnurrers of the world never cease their work! New Yorkers might be the best as this but diamond-encrusted Punjabis in Delhi will give them a run for their money.

  4. Roy Pietrinferni says:

    God I am on the floor how did it take me so long to navigate throught the site, bravo to glittersnipe !!!

  5. Lady MacBeth says:

    I will admit to using Yelp and Open Table to give me a feel for a new restaurant I’d like to try. That being said, I’ve gotten pretty good at ferreting out, and ignoring, the self-entitled douche-nozzles that pepper these sites with their dreck. This article was funny as all hell, though.